Single Mother Survival Guide: How To Be A Good Christian Single Mother, Mom To Your Children
Some people are of the opinion that it takes two parents to mould a child into a responsible adult. While this is true because children need both parents for a balanced upbringing, we also know that this is not the case all the time.
We have had cases where both parents raised their children and they still ended up being the definition of irresponsibility. So who says a single parent (in this case a single mum) cannot raise her children into responsible and well brought-up adults the family and society would be proud of?.
There is nothing stopping you as a single mum from giving your kids all the training and discipline they need while still showering them with love, care and attention. No one says it is going to be easy. Being a single mum makes it tougher because you are doing the work of two persons but this is no excuse to slack in your duties. If anything, it should challenge and motivate you to give it your best shot. The fruit of which you will reap in the nearest future.
Feeling motivated already? Here is a look at some tips that will help you to be a good single mum to your children:
Show Love To Your Children
The fact that you are a single mum does not excuse showing love to your children. Whether you became a single mum through the death of your partner, a messy divorce, or you had a child outside marriage, your children never begged you to have them hence, you must show them love and attention.
Do not let what happened between you and your partner affect your kids. Keep them out of it. Show them love and unconditional care. No matter how busy you may be with work, set time out every day to play, read, cook or just sit with your children. Take walks with them or just hang out especially on weekends to find out how their week was.
Children react (almost always) to how you react to them. If you are open to them, they too will return the favour. I know a lot of single mums usually suffer from financial challenges but, you do not have to spend too much to share quality time with them. You all may just go to the park and take pictures over some cookies and soft drinks. Trust me, the memory lives on in their minds.
Create Schedules For Your Children
They are still children and need your guidance. What better way than to create a schedule for them to follow. Note that the older they get, the more flexible you become with the routine.
This makes everything easier and reduces the stress especially on your own part. When they have a routine, they already know when to sleep, study, play or have TV time. This way, you do not necessarily need to tell them what to do.
To make this more fun and and easier for them to follow, give them some leverage especially on weekends. For instance, you can increase the TV time or have them visit their friends or have their friends over at the house. You may also include hang outs. This way, it is a win-win situation for both of you.
Don’t Give Them Everything They Want… Set Limits
Most definitely. I mean, what is child training without some restraints and limits. This also means some elements of discipline. Know when to say know to your children. Be firm and explain why you said no. Letting them have whatever they want is a recipe for disaster and you will be worse for it.
Give them rules, such as using important words like please, thank you, I am sorry etc in appropriate situations. Let them know the punishment for each misbehaviour and be principled about them.
Talk to your children’s teachers too and let them know the children can also be punished if they misbehave in school. This way they will know that no form of disrespect and misbehaviour will be condoned anywhere.
Teach Your Children To Be Grateful
As we said earlier, single mums usually have a lot of financial issues. Your children know about this (do not think they do not know).
As a result, it makes them painfully aware of all the things that are missing in the house. This makes them to compare themselves with other kids in their schools and neighbourhood. The next thing is that the heat will be on you to stretch beyond your pockets. Do not let this happen to you.
Begin from their early days to teach your children to appreciate what they have. Make them list all the things they are grateful for- a home, gifts, food, school, life and of course, You. Them make them list the ones they do not have. Sure the ones they do not have may be more than the ones they have but explain to them that it will get better.
Let them also know that there are several kids who are out on the streets with no house, parent or school. Hence, they should be grateful.
Take Good Care Of Yourself
Single moms are always stressed and running around to cater for their children. Most times, they do this at the detriment of their own health.
Think about it this way, if you are very ill, will you still be a good mum to them? Certainly not. So no matter what you do, always look after yourself. Eat healthy meals, exercise and get enough rest. Make out time to enjoy some alone time or simply hang out with a group of friends. Take a break from the kids and work to rejuvenate yourself. You need to stay mentally and physically fit to be a good mum.
Connect , Network With Other Single Parents, Single Moms
Single parents are on the rise in today’s society so finding one to connect with will not be a difficult task.
Connect with them and do some fun things together. You can both decide to have sleep overs or teach the children some fun activities. You can also share some ideas and experiences with the other single parent. This way, you will get to know how they too are coping.
You can all decide to hangout and share quality time together. This way, it saves you the cost while still creating special bonds.
Be Positive, Do Not Be Create Of Yourself Or Beat Yourself Up
Do not beat yourself up for being a single mum. Even if you caused it, move forward. Be honest with your children when your finances plummet. They understand more than you know. Just assure them that things will get better.
Always look at situations from the positive side and never lose hope. Do not worry about what the society thinks (it is guaranteed to discourage you anyways). Take care of your children, give them responsibilities commensurate with their ages and watch them bloom into wholesome adults.
Find Support: You know the saying about no one being an island right? Great. So find support. You can get in touch with friends, family members, colleagues or even the neighbours. No matter how strong you are, you need support- financially, emotionally and morally. This is not a sign of weakness, it is just our human nature and you need not feel shy about it. As long as you have the right people, you are well on your way.
Praise Yourself and The Kids: As a single mum, you are caught up in so many activities that you hardly have the time to truly appreciate yourself and the kids.
Take some credit for all the time and effort you spend nurturing the kids. Appreciate them also for being wonderful and understanding despite not having their father or perhaps a father figure. You all are doing so well and you ought to be proud of yourselves.